Too Many Commas

What an abominable weekend.

For the past two weeks, I have been working on writing a story of indeterminate length (novel? novella? I dunno.) only to realize that it is crap. I know that most writers feel their work is crap until the third revision or so, but looking back on my first 15,000 words I see a great plot with passable dialogue, terrible characterization (always my weakest point), terrible imagery/form and terrible pacing. I guess that is better than the opposite since it is tough to edit your way into a good plot. I’m trying to decide whether I should a) continue hammering out words regardless, b) go back and start an early edit and try to get my shit together before proceeding or c) give up. The idea was that this would be an unpublishable practice novel in the first place, but I’d hate to waste free time on crap. I don’t know what convinced me to start with it, but I had some free time, I blinked and six thousand words came out. Applications for muses are available in the front office.

Also: I took my roommate to drop off his car this morning. He was in an accident and it needs work on the frame, tail pipe, etc. As soon as I turn in to the place to pick him up, I feel a hesitation on my brakes. As I go to turn around, I realize that I now only have breaks if I push the entire way to the floor. Fantastic. My car now is in a shop on the other side of town. And yes, I drove on I-4 without any real brakes to speak of. In retrospect, it was a good idea, since the other way home was full of more stops and starts. I used my four ways and such so everyone could pass me and realize I’m not just some putz who actually drives the speed limit.

Also: The Simpsons Movie is quite enjoyable. I am very used to outgrowing the franchises I grew up with such that the inevitable Movie-ication of the story/characters/ideas feels contrived and stupid. This PVP comic re: the “live-action” Underdog movie makes the point better than I could. Luckily, the Simpsons movie plays out like five consecutive TV episodes plus additional swears and gags that they could never get away with on television. And it never gets to be tiring like the reports of other movie-fied cartoons of recent months. Kudos.

I don’t feel so old when I realize I was six when the Simpsons first aired.

Analyze This

For me, this is the scariest article on the Inter-net/web/tron.

First, cost reduction is often a euphemism for “broad, sweeping layoffs of junior people so that the senior execs can buy another few Bentleys”

Second, acquiring Take Two Interactive?  Does EA really want that kind of negative publicity? Do they really want to scoop up a company that keeps trying to go bankrupt? If true, it would be an obvious sign that management does not trust the designers in the company with any sort of original thought and that buying ideas from the competition is better. With the titles EA has on the horizon, that seems pretty… well… to put it quite starkly, dumb.

I am consoled by the fact that this is just some analyst that has no idea what is really going on.


Now realize I went to Carnegie Mellon University, nerd capital of the midwest. But this is just revolting. There are real sports to play out there, kids, whose rules are well defined and that won’t provide a deep sense of shame in four years when you realize you will never get that time at college back when you could have been making real relationships or studying or creating something.

I feel that way about Halo.

Momentary Di-version

I haven’t posted anything of substance in a while. That makes me a sinner.

NCAA Football 08 came out yesterday. There are two reviews up 90 and 81 respectively, which I would have killed for on an original title but on a franchise increment, it feels kind of disingenuous since we started the year with a good game. I don’t feel I personally earned those scores, but I really didn’t have any say in the matter. I particular like how the IGN article called Points Pursuit “an interesting diversion” since that was pretty much what it was designed to be. I was really worried that reviewers and fans would pick it apart as a waste of time since they want it to be the simmiest sim that ever simmed a sim. No one has yet mentioned that the ball catches fire with the light of a thousand suns every third play.

So that went well considering what happened last time.

Additionally, I’m helping the lady-friend work her way through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I’m a little sad that the 360’s emulation isn’t perfect. The voice track likes to st st stutt stutter and I forgot how quirky the game was. But what really shocked me was how old the game feels. It is still as fun as I remember it, but it feels like I am playing something retro. It is only four years old. It makes me wonder what we will be playing four years after Mass Effect. We will probably look back at Oblivion and laugh at its seven voice actors and Mario-esque foot pinning. I’m reasonably sure we will laugh at all the damn blooming everywhere.

There has been one instance of mega-bloom that I found acceptable. There is a track in DiRT that ends with a tunnel followed by a 90 degree left turn. The only thing is, you can’t really see the turn coming because after the tunnel everything is so bright. This makes sense. You were driving in a tunnel and your eyes haven’t adjusted. The mega-bloom makes sense. But who the hell designs a road like that? Really.